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Modern Extortion: Detecting Data Theft from the Cloud

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20
Sep 2022
20
Sep 2022
Now one of the most popular talking points in the security world, the ransom industry continues to see growth. First ransomware, then double extortion and now simple data theft have been used to meet threat actors’ extortion needs. This blog highlights an example of this in a US customer’s SaaS environment.

Ransomware Industry

The ransomware industry has benefitted from a number of factors in recent years: inadequate cyber defenses, poorly regulated cryptocurrency markets, and geopolitical tensions have allowed gangs to extort increasingly large ransoms while remaining sheltered from western law enforcement [1]. However, one of the biggest success stories of the ransomware industry has been the adaptability and evolution of attacker TTPs (tactics, techniques and procedures). The WannaCry and NotPetya attacks of 2017 popularized a form of ransomware which used encryption algorithms to hold data to ransom in exchange for a decryption key. Last year in 2021, almost all ransomware strains evolved to use double extortion tactics: holding stolen data to ransom as well as encrypted data [2]. Now, some ransomware gangs have dropped encryption entirely, and are using data theft as their sole means of extortion. 

Using data theft for extortion is not new. In 2020 the Finnish psychotherapy center Vastaamo had over 40,000 patient records stolen. Impacted patients were told that their psychiatric transcripts would be published online if they failed to pay a Bitcoin ransom. [3]. A later report by BlackFog in May 2021 predicted data theft extortion would become one of the key emerging cybersecurity trends that year [4]. Adoption of offline back-ups and endpoint detection had made encryption harder, while a large-scale move to Cloud and SaaS platforms offered new vectors for data theft. By moving from data encryption to data exfiltration, ransomware attackers pivoted from targeting data availability within the CIA triad (Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability) to threatening data confidentiality.

In November 2021, Darktrace detected a data theft incident following the compromise of two SaaS accounts within an American tech customer’s Office365 environment. The client was a longstanding user of Darktrace DETECT/Network, and was in the process of expanding their coverage by trialing Darktrace DETECT+RESPOND/ Apps + Cloud.

Attack Overview

On November 23rd 2021, an Ask the Expert (ATE) ticket was raised prompting investigation into a breached SaaS model, ‘SaaS / Access / Unusual External Source for SaaS Credential Use’, and the activities of a user (censored as UserA) over the prior week.

1. Office365: UserA 

The account UserA had been logging in from an unusual location in Nigeria on November 21st. At the time of the incident there were no flags of malicious activity from this IP in widely used OSINT sources. It is also highly probable the attacker was not located in Nigeria but using Nigerian infrastructure in order to hide their true location. Regardless, the location of the login from this IP and ASN was considered highly unusual for users within the customer’s digital estate. The specific user in question most commonly accessed their account from IP ranges located in the US.

Figure 1: In the Geolocation tab of the External Sites Summary on the SaaS Console, UserA was seen logging in from Nigeria when previous logins were exclusively from USA

Further investigation revealed an additional anomaly in the Outlook Web activity of UserA. The account was using the Firefox browser to access their account for the first time in at least 4 weeks (the maximum period for which the customer stored such data). SaaS logs detailing the access of confidential folders and other suspicious actions were identified using the Advanced Search (AS) query:

@fields.saas_actor:"UserA@[REDACTED]" AND @fields.saas_software:"Firefox"

Most actions were ‘MailItemsAccessed’ events originating from IPs located in Nigeria [5,6] and one other potentially malicious IP located in the US [7].

‘MailItemsAccessed’ is part of the new Advanced Audit functionality from Microsoft and can be used to determine when email data is accessed by mail protocols and clients. A bind mail access type denotes an individual access to an email message [8]. 

Figure 2: AS logs shows UserA had not used Firefox to access Office365 for at least 4 weeks prior to the unusual login on the 21st November

Below are details of the main suspicious SaaS activities: 

·      Time: 2021-11-21 09:05:25 - 2021-11-22 16:57:39 UTC

·      SaaS Actor: UserA@[REDACTED]

·      SaaS Service: Office365

·      SaaS Service Product: Exchange

·      SaaS Software: Firefox

·      SaaS Office365 Parent Folders:

          o   \Accounts/Passwords
          o   \Invoices
          o   \Sent Items
          o   \Inbox
          o   \Recoverable Items\Deletions

·      SaaS Event:

          o   MailItemsAccessed
          o   UserLoggedIn
          o   Update

·      SaaS Office365 Mail Access Type: Bind (47 times)

·      Source IP addresses:

          o   105.112.59[.]83
          o   105.112.36[.]212
          o   154.6.17[.]16
          o   45.130.83[.]129

·      SaaS User Agents: 

          o   Client=OWA;Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:80.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/80.0;
          o   Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:80.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/80.0

·      Total SaaS logs: 57 

At the start of the month on the 5th November, the user had also been seen logging in from a potentially malicious endpoint [9] in Europe, performing ‘MailItemsAccessed’ and ‘Updates’ events with subjects and a resource location related to invoices and wire transfers from the Sent items folder. This suggests the initial compromise had been earlier in the month, giving the threat actor time to make preparations for the final stages of the attack.

Figure 3: Event log showing the activity of UserA from IP 45.135.187[.]108 

2. Office365: UserB 

Looking into the model breach ‘SaaS / Access / Suspicious Credential Use And Login User-Agent’, it was seen that a second account, UserB, was also observed logging in from a rare and potentially malicious location in Bangladesh [7]. Similar to UserA, this user had previously logged in exclusively from the USA, and no other accounts within the digital estate had been observed interacting with the Bangladeshi IP address. The login event appeared to bypass MFA (Multi-factor Authentication) and a suspicious user agent, BAV2ROPC, was used. Against misconfigured accounts, this Microsoft user agent is commonly used by attackers to bypass MFA on Office365. It targets Exchange’s Basic Authentication (normally used in POP3/IMAP4 conditions) and results in an OAuth flow which circumvents the additional password security brought by MFA [10].  

During the session, additional resources were accessed which appear to be associated with bill and invoice payments. In addition, on the 4th November, two new suspicious email rules named “..” were created from rare IPs (107.10.56[.]48 and 76.189.202[.]66). This type of behavior is commonly seen during SaaS compromises to delete or forward emails. Typically, an email rule created by a human user will be named to reflect the change being made, such as ‘Move emails from Legal to Urgent’. In contrast, malicious email rules are often short and undescriptive. The rule “..” is likely to blend in without arousing suspicion, while also being easy for the attacker to create and remember. 

Details of these rule changes are as follows:

·      Time: 2021-11-04 13:25:06, 2021-11-05 15:50:00 [UTC]
·      SaaS Service: Office365
·      SaaS Service Product: Exchange
·      SaaS Status Message: True
·      SaaS Source IP addresses: 107.10.56[.]48, 76.189.202[.]66
·      SaaS Account Name: O365
·      SaaS Actor: UserB@[REDACTED]
·      SaaS Event: SetInboxRule
·      SaaS Office365 Modified Property Names:
          o   AlwaysDeleteOutlookRulesBlob, Force, Identity, MoveToFolder, Name, FromAddressContainsWords, StopProcessingRules
          o   AlwaysDeleteOutlookRulesBlob, Force, Identity, Name, FromAddressContainsWords, StopProcessingRules
·      SaaS Resource Name: .. 

During cloud account compromises, attackers will often use sync operations to download emails to their local email client. During the operations, these clients typically download a large set of mail items from the cloud to a local computer. If the attacker is able to sync all mail items to their mail client, the entire mailbox can be compromised. The attacker is able to disconnect from the account and review and search the email without generating additional event logs. 

Both accounts UserA and UserB were observed using ‘MailItemsAccessed’ sync operations between the 1st and 23rd November when this attack occurred. However, based on the originating IP of the sync operations, the activity is likely to have been initiated by the legitimate, US-based users. Once the security team were able to confirm the events were expected and legitimate, they could establish that the contents of the mailbox were not a part of the data breach. 

Accomplish Mission

After gaining access to the Office365 accounts, sensitive data was downloaded by the attackers to their local system. Either on or before 14th December, the attacker had seemingly uploaded the documents onto a data leak website. In total, 130MB of data had been made available for download in two separate packages. The packages included audit and accounting financial documents, with file extensions such as DB, XLSX, and PDF.

Figure 4: The two data packages uploaded by the attacker and the extracted contents

In a sample of past SaaS activity of UserA, the subject and attachments appear related to the ‘OUTSTANDING PREPAY WIRES 2021’ excel document found from the data leak website in Figure 4, suggesting a further possibility that the account was associated with the leaked data. 

Historic SaaS activity associated with UserA: 

·      Time: 2021-11-05 21:21:18 [UTC]
·      SaaS Office365 Logon Type: Owner
·      Protocol: OFFICE365
·      SaaS Account Name: O365
·      SaaS Actor: UserA@[REDACTED].com
·      SaaS Event: Send
·      SaaS Service: Office365
·      SaaS Service Product: Exchange
·      SaaS Status Message: Succeeded
·      SaaS Office365 Attachment: WIRE 2021.xlsx (92406b); image.png (9084b); image.png (1454b); image.png (1648b); image.png (1691b); image.png (1909b); image.png (2094b)
·      SaaS Office365 Subject: Wires 11/8/21
·      SaaS Resource Location: \Drafts
·      SaaS User Agent: Client=OWA;Action=ViaProxy 

Based on the available evidence, it is highly likely that the data packages contain the data stolen during the account compromise the previous month.  

Once the credentials of an Office365 account are stolen, an attacker can not only access the user's mailbox, but also a full range of Office365 applications such as SharePoint folders, Teams Chat, or files in the user's OneDrive [11]. For example, files shared in Teams chat are stored in OneDrive for Business in a folder named Microsoft Teams Chat Files in the default Document library on SharePoint. One of the files visible on the data leak website, called ‘[REDACTED] CONTRACT.3.1.2020.pdf’, was also observed in the default document folder of a third user account (UserC) within the victim organization, suggesting the compromised accounts may have been able to access shared files stored on other accounts by moving laterally via other O365 applications such as Teams. 

One example can be seen in the below AS logs: 

·      Time: 2021-11-11 01:58:35 [UTC]
·      SaaS Resource Type: File
·      Protocol: OFFICE365
·      SaaS Account Name: 0365
·      SaaS Actor: UserC@[REDACTED]
·      SaaS Event: FilePreviewed
·      SaaS Service Product: OneDrive
·      SaaS Metric: ResourceViewed
·      SaaS Office365 Application Name: Media Analysis and Transformation Service
·      SaaS Office365 File Extension: pdf
·      SaaS Resource Location: https://[REDACTED]-my.sharepoint.com/personal/userC_[REDACTED]_com/Documents/Microsoft Teams Chat Files/[REDACTED] CONTRACT 3.1.2020.pdf
·      SaaS Resource Name: [REDACTED] CONTRACT 3.1.2020.pdf
·      SaaS Service: Office365
·      SaaS Service Product: OneDrive
·      SaaS User Agent: OneDriveMpc-Transform_Thumbnail/1.0 

In the period between the 1st and 30th November, the customer’s Darktrace DETECT/Apps trial had raised multiple high-level alerts associated with SaaS account compromise, but there was no evidence of file encryption.  

Establish Foothold 

Looking back at the start of the attack, it is unclear exactly how the attacker evaded the customer’s pre-existing security stack. At the time of the incident, the victim was using a Barracuda email gateway and Microsoft 365 Threat Management for their cloud environment. 

Darktrace detected no indication the accounts were compromised via credential bruteforcing, which would have enabled the attacker to bypass the Azure Active Directory smart lockout (if enabled). The credentials may have been harvested via a phishing campaign which successfully evaded the list of known ‘bad’ domains maintained by their email gateway.  

Upon gaining access to the account, the Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps anomaly detection policies would have been expected to raise an alert [12]. In this instance, the unusual login from Nigeria occurred over 16 hours after the previous login from the US, potentially evading anomaly detection policies such as the ‘Impossible Travel’ rule. 

Figure 5: Event log showing the user accessing mail from USA a day before the suspicious usage from Nigeria 

Darktrace Coverage

Darktrace DETECT 

Throughout this event, high scoring model breaches associated with the attack were visible in the customer’s SaaS Console. In addition, there were two Cyber AI Analyst incidents for ‘Possible Account Hijack’ associated with the two compromised SaaS Office365 accounts, UserA and UserB. The visibility given by Darktrace DETECT also enabled the security team to confirm which files had been accessed and were likely part of the data leak.

Figure 6: Example Cyber AI Analyst incident of UserB SaaS Office365 account

Darktrace RESPOND

In this incident, the attackers successfully compromised O365 accounts in order to exfiltrate customer data. Whilst Darktrace RESPOND/Apps was being trialed and suggested several actions, it was configured in human confirmation mode. The following RESPOND/Apps actions were advised for these activities:  

·      ‘Antigena [RESPOND] Unusual Access Block’ triggered by the successful login from an unusual IP address, would have actioned the ‘Block IP’ inhibitor, preventing access to the account from the unusual IP for up to 24 hours
·      ‘Suspicious Source Activity Block’, triggered by the suspicious user agent used to bypass MFA, would have actioned the ‘Disable User’ inhibitor, disabling the user account for up to 24 hours 

During this incident, Darktrace RESPOND/Network was being used in fully autonomous mode in order to prevent the threat actor from pivoting into the network. The security team were unable to conclusively say if any attempts by the attacker to do this had been made. 

Concluding Thoughts  

Data theft extortion has become a widely used attack technique, and ransomware gangs may increasingly use this technique alone to target organizations without secure data encryption and storage policies.  

This case study describes a SaaS data theft extortion incident which bypassed MFA and existing security tools. The attacker appeared to compromise credentials without bruteforce activity, possibly with the use of social engineering through phishing. However, from the first new login, Darktrace DETECT identified the unusual credential use in spite of it being an existing account. Had Darktrace RESPOND/Apps been configured, it would have autonomously responded to halt this login and prevent the attacker from accomplishing their data theft mission.

Thanks to Oakley Cox, Brianna Leddy and Shuh Chin Goh for their contributions.

Appendices

References 

[1] https://securelist.com/new-ransomware-trends-in-2022/106457/

[2] https://www.itpro.co.uk/security/ransomware/367624/the-rise-of-double-extortion-ransomware

[3] https://www.malwarebytes.com/blog/news/2020/10/vastaamo-psychotherapy-data-breach-sees-the-most-vulnerable-victims-extorted

[4] https://www.blackfog.com/shift-from-ransomware-to-data-theft-extortion/

[5] https://www.abuseipdb.com/check/105.112.59.83

[6] https://www.abuseipdb.com/check/105.112.36.212

[7] https://www.abuseipdb.com/check/45.130.83.129

[8] https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/compliance/mailitemsaccessed-forensics-investigations?view=o365-worldwide

[9] https://www.abuseipdb.com/check/45.135.187.108

[10] https://www.virustotal.com/gui/ip-address/45.137.20.65/details

[11] https://tidorg.com/new-bec-phishing-attack-steals-office-365-credentials-and-bypasses-mfa/

[12] https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/security/office-365-security/responding-to-a-compromised-email-account?view=o365-worldwide

EINBLICKE IN DAS SOC-Team
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Looking Beyond Secure Email Gateways with the Latest Innovations to Darktrace/Email

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09
Apr 2024

Organizations Should Demand More from their Email Security

In response to a more intricate threat landscape, organizations should view email security as a critical component of their defense-in-depth strategy, rather than defending the inbox alone with a traditional Secure Email Gateway (SEG). Organizations need more than a traditional gateway – that doubles, instead of replaces, the capabilities provided by native security vendor – and require an equally granular degree of analysis across all messaging, including inbound, outbound, and lateral mail, plus Teams messages.  

Darktrace/Email is the industry’s most advanced cloud email security, powered by Self-Learning AI. It combines AI techniques to exceed the accuracy and efficiency of leading security solutions, and is the only security built to elevate, not duplicate, native email security.  

With its largest update ever, Darktrace/Email introduces the following innovations, finally allowing security teams to look beyond secure email gateways with autonomous AI:

  • AI-augmented data loss prevention to stop the entire spectrum of outbound mail threats
  • an easy way to deploy DMARC quickly with AI
  • major enhancements to streamline SOC workflows and increase the detection of sophisticated phishing links
  • expansion of Darktrace’s leading AI prevention to lateral mail, account compromise and Microsoft Teams

What’s New with Darktrace/Email  

Data Loss Prevention  

Block the entire spectrum of outbound mail threats with advanced data loss prevention that builds on tags in native email to stop unknown, accidental, and malicious data loss

Darktrace understands normal at individual user, group and organization level with a proven AI that detects abnormal user behavior and dynamic content changes. Using this understanding, Darktrace/Email actions outbound emails to stop unknown, accidental and malicious data loss.  

Traditional DLP solutions only take into account classified data, which relies on the manual input of labelling each data piece, or creating rules to catch pattern matches that try to stop data of certain types leaving the organization. But in today’s world of constantly changing data, regular expression and fingerprinting detection are no longer enough.

  • Human error – Because it understands normal for every user, Darktrace/Email can recognize cases of misdirected emails. Even if the data is correctly labelled or insensitive, Darktrace recognizes when the context in which it is being sent could be a case of data loss and warns the user.  
  • Unclassified data – Whereas traditional DLP solutions can only take action on classified data, Darktrace analyzes the range of data that is either pending labels or can’t be labeled with typical capabilities due to its understanding of the content and context of every email.  
  • Insider threat – If a malicious actor has compromised an account, data exfiltration may still be attempted on encrypted, intellectual property, or other forms of unlabelled data to avoid detection. Darktrace analyses user behaviour to catch cases of unusual data exfiltration from individual accounts.

And classification efforts already in place aren’t wasted – Darktrace/Email extends Microsoft Purview policies and sensitivity labels to avoid duplicate workflows for the security team, combining the best of both approaches to ensure organizations maintain control and visibility over their data.

End User and Security Workflows

Achieve more than 60% improvement in the quality of end-user phishing reports and detection of sophisticated malicious weblinks1

Darktrace/Email improves end-user reporting from the ground up to save security team resource. Employees will always be on the front line of email security – while other solutions assume that end-user reporting is automatically of poor quality, Darktrace prioritizes improving users’ security awareness to increase the quality of end-user reporting from day one.  

Users are empowered to assess and report suspicious activity with contextual banners and Cyber AI Analyst generated narratives for potentially suspicious emails, resulting in 60% fewer benign emails reported.  

Out of the higher-quality emails that end up being reported, the next step is to reduce the amount of emails that reach the SOC. Darktrace/Email’s Mailbox Security Assistant automates their triage with secondary analysis combining additional behavioral signals – using x20 more metrics than previously – with advanced link analysis to detect 70% more sophisticated malicious phishing links.2 This directly alleviates the burden of manual triage for security analysts.

For the emails that are received by the SOC, Darktrace/Email uses automation to reduce time spent investigating per incident. With live inbox view, security teams gain access to a centralized platform that combines intuitive search capabilities, Cyber AI Analyst reports, and mobile application access. Analysts can take remediation actions from within Darktrace/Email, eliminating console hopping and accelerating incident response.

Darktrace takes a user-focused and business-centric approach to email security, in contrast to the attack-centric rules and signatures approach of secure email gateways

Microsoft Teams

Detect threats within your Teams environment such as account compromise, phishing, malware and data loss

Around 83% of Fortune 500 companies rely on Microsoft Office products and services, particularly Teams and SharePoint.3

Darktrace now leverages the same behavioral AI techniques for Microsoft customers across 365 and Teams, allowing organizations to detect threats and signals of account compromise within their Teams environment including social engineering, malware and data loss.  

The primary use case for Microsoft Teams protection is as a potential entry vector. While messaging has traditionally been internal only, as organizations open up it is becoming an entry vector which needs to be treated with the same level of caution as email. That’s why we’re bringing our proven AI approach to Microsoft Teams, that understands the user behind the message.  

Anomalous messaging behavior is also a highly relevant indicator of whether a user has been compromised. Unlike other solutions that analyze Microsoft Teams content which focus on payloads, Darktrace goes beyond basic link and sandbox analysis and looks at actual user behavior from both a content and context perspective. This linguistic understanding isn’t bound by the requirement to match a signature to a malicious payload, rather it looks at the context in which the message has been delivered. From this analysis, Darktrace can spot the early symptoms of account compromise such as early-stage social engineering before a payload is delivered.

Lateral Mail Analysis

Detect and respond to internal mailflow with multi-layered AI to prevent account takeover, lateral phishing and data leaks

The industry’s most robust account takeover protection now prevents lateral mail account compromise. Darktrace has always looked at internal mail to inform inbound and outbound decisions, but will now elevate suspicious lateral mail behaviour using the same AI techniques for inbound, outbound and Teams analysis.

Darktrace integrates signals from across the entire mailflow and communication patterns to determine symptoms of account compromise, now including lateral mailflow

Unlike other solutions which only analyze payloads, Darktrace analyzes a whole range of signals to catch lateral movement before a payload is delivered. Contributing yet another layer to the AI behavioral profile for each user, security teams can now use signals from lateral mail to spot the early symptoms of account takeover and take autonomous actions to prevent further compromise.

DMARC

Gain in-depth visibility and control of 3rd parties using your domain with an industry-first AI-assisted DMARC

Darktrace has created the easiest path to brand protection and compliance with the new Darktrace/DMARC. This new capability continuously stops spoofing and phishing from the enterprise domain, while automatically enhancing email security and reducing the attack surface.

Darktrace/DMARC helps to upskill businesses by providing step by step guidance and automated record suggestions provide a clear, efficient road to enforcement. It allows organizations to quickly achieve compliance with requirements from Google, Yahoo, and others, to ensure that their emails are reaching mailboxes.  

Meanwhile, Darktrace/DMARC helps to reduce the overall attack surface by providing visibility over shadow-IT and third-party vendors sending on behalf of an organization’s brand, while informing recipients when emails from their domains are sent from un-authenticated DMARC source.

Darktrace/DMARC integrates with the wider Darktrace product platform, sharing insights to help further secure your business across Email Attack Path and Attack Surface management.

Schlussfolgerung

To learn more about the new innovations to Darktrace/Email download the solution brief here.

All of the new updates to Darktrace/Email sit within the new Darktrace ActiveAI Security Platform, creating a feedback loop between email security and the rest of the digital estate for better protection. Click to read more about the Darktrace ActiveAI Security Platform or to hear about the latest innovations to Darktrace/OT, the most comprehensive prevention, detection, and response solution purpose built for critical infrastructures.  

Learn about the intersection of cyber and AI by downloading the State of AI Cyber Security 2024 report to discover global findings that may surprise you, insights from security leaders, and recommendations for addressing today’s top challenges that you may face, too.

References

[1] Internal Darktrace Research

[2] Internal Darktrace Research

[3] Essential Microsoft Office Statistics in 2024

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Managing Risk Beyond CVE Scores With the Latest Innovations to Darktrace/OT

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09
Apr 2024

Identifying Cyber Risk in Industrial Organizations

Compromised OT devices in ICS and SCADA environments pose significant physical risks, even endangering lives. However, identifying CVEs in the multitude of complex OT devices is labor-intensive and time-consuming, draining valuable resources.

Even after identifying a vulnerability, implementing a patch presents its own challenges limited maintenance windows and the need for uninterrupted operations strain IT and OT teams often leading organizations to prioritize availability over security leading vulnerabilities remaining unresolved for over 5 years on average. (1)

Darktrace’s New Innovation

Darktrace is an industry leader in cybersecurity with 10+ years of experience securing OT environments where we take a fundamentally different approach using Self-Learning AI to enhance threat detection and response.

Continuing to combat the expanding threat landscape, Darktrace is excited to announce new capabilities that enable a contextualized and proactive approach to managing cyber risk at industrial organizations.

Today we launch an innovation to our OT Cybersecurity solution, Darktrace/OT, that will add a layer of proactivity, enabling a comprehensive approach to risk management. This industry leading innovation for Darktrace/OT moves beyond CVE scores to redefine vulnerability management for critical infrastructure, tackling the full breadth of risks not limited by traditional controls.  

Darktrace/OT is the only OT security solution with comprehensive Risk Management which includes:

  • Contextualized risk analysis unique to your organization
  • The most realistic evaluation and prioritization of OT risk
  • Effectively mitigate risk across your OT infrastructure, with and without patching.
  • The only OT security solution that evaluates your defenses against Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) Groups.

The most comprehensive prevention, detection, and response solution purpose built for Critical Infrastructures

Darktrace’s Self-Learning AI technology is a cutting-edge innovation that implements real time prevention, detection, response, and recovery for operational technologies and enables a fundamental shift from the traditional approach to cyber defense by learning a ‘pattern of life’ for every network, device, and user.  

Rather than relying on knowledge of past attacks, AI technology learns what is ‘normal’ for its environment, discovering previously unknown threats by detecting subtle shifts in behavior. Through identifying these unexpected anomalies, security teams can investigate novel attacks, discover blind spots, have live time visibility across all their physical and digital assets, and reduce time to detect, respond to, and triage security events.  

  • Achieve greater visibility of OT and IT devices across all levels of the Purdue Model.
  • The industry's only OT security to scale threat detection and response, with a 92% time saving from triage to recovery.  
  • The only OT focused security solution to provide bespoke Risk Management.

To learn more about how Darktrace/OT approaches unique use cases for industrial organizations visit the Darktrace/OT Webpage or join us LIVE at a city near you.

Read more below to discover how new innovations to Darktrace/OT are bringing a new, contextualized approach to Risk Management for Industrial organizations.

For more information on the entire Darktrace/OT Solution read our solution brief here.

Darktrace/OT and New Risk Management

Risk Identification

Leveraging the visibility of Darktrace/OT which identifies individual systems throughout the Purdue Model and the relationship between them, Darktrace/OT identifies high-risk CVEs and presents potential attack routes that go beyond techniques requiring a known exploit, such as misuse of legitimate services. Each attack path will have a mathematical evaluation of difficulty and impact from initial access to the high value objectives.  

Together this gives comprehensive coverage over your real and potential risks from both an attacker and known vulnerability perspectives. OT attack paths as seen here even leverage insights between the industrial and corporate communications to reveal ways threat actors may take advantage of IT-OT convergence. This revelation of imperceptible risks fills gaps in traditional risk analysis like remote access and insider threats.

Figure 1: Darktrace/OT visualizing the most critical attack paths at an organization
Figure 1: Darktrace/OT visualizing the most critical attack paths at an organization
Figure 2: A specific Attack Path identified by Darktrace/OT

Risk Prioritization

Darktrace/OT prioritizes remediations and mitigations based on difficulty and damage to your unique organization, using the established Attack Paths.

We ascertain the priorities that apply to your organization beyond pure theoretical damage answering questions like:

  • How difficult is a particular vulnerability to exploit considering the steps an attacker would require to reach it?
  • And, how significant would the impact be if it was exploited within this particular network?

This expanded approach to risk prioritization has a much more comprehensive evaluation of your organization's unique risk than has ever been possible before. Traditional approaches of ranking only known vulnerabilities with isolated scores using CVSS and exploitability metrics, often leaves gaps in IT-OT risks and is blind to legitimate service exploitation.

Figure 3: Darktrace/OT leverages its contextual understand of the organization’s network to prioritize remediation that will have the positive impact on the risk score

Darktrace provides mitigation strategies associated with each identified risk and the relevant impact it has on your overall risk posture, across all MITRE ATT&CK techniques.

What sets Darktrace apart is our ability to contextualize these mitigations within the broader business. When patching vulnerabilities directly isn’t possible, Darktrace identifies alternative actions that harden attack paths leading to critical assets. Hardening the surrounding attack path increases the difficulty and therefore reduces the likelihood and impact of a breach.

That means unpatched vulnerabilities and vulnerable devices aren’t left unprotected. This also has an added bonus, those hardening techniques work for all devices in that network segment, so apply one change, secure many.

Figure 4: Darktrace prioritizes mitigation reducing accessibility of vulnerability and the overall risk score when patches aren’t available

Communicate Board Level Risk with APT Threat Mapping

Darktrace/OT bridges theory and practice as the only security solution that maps MITRE techniques, frequently used by APT Groups, onto AI-assessed critical Attack Paths. This unique solution provides unparalleled insights including sector and location intelligence, possible operating platforms, common techniques, exploited CVEs, and the number of potential devices affected in your environment, supporting holistic risk assessment and proactive defense measures.

Ultimately, this becomes a power dashboard to communicate board level risk, using both metric based evidence and industry standard threat mapping.

Schlussfolgerung

Darktrace/OT is part of the Darktrace ActiveAI Security Platform a native, holistic, AI-driven platform built on over ten years of AI research. It helps security teams shift to more a productive mode, finding the known and the unknown attacks and transforming the SOC with the various Darktrace products to drive efficiency gains. It does this across the whole incident lifecycle to lower risk, reduce time spent on active incidents, and drive return on investment.

Discover more about Darktrace's ever-strengthening platform with the upcoming changes coming to our Darktrace/Email product and other launch day blogs.

Join Darktrace LIVE half-day event to understand the reality versus the hype surrounding AI and how to achieve cyber resilience.

Learn about the intersection of cyber and AI by downloading the State of AI Cyber Security 2024 report to discover global findings that may surprise you, insights from security leaders, and recommendations for addressing today’s top challenges that you may face, too.  

References

1. https://research-information.bris.ac.uk/ws/portalfiles/portal/313646831/Catch_Me_if_You_Can.pdf

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About the author
Mitchell Bezzina
VP, Product and Solutions Marketing
Our ai. Your data.

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